BASC’s dedicated firearms team experienced their busiest year yet in 2016 as they dealt with a record number of calls and queries – more than 10,000.
Delays in the licensing process proved the biggest concern for BASC members, with more than 1100 calls, while queries and problems with the involvement of GPs in the licensing process accounting for more than 688.
2016 also saw two of the busiest months since records began in 1998, with 971 and 1038 calls in September and October respectively.
BASC is the only UK shooting organisation with a full-time firearms team, with its staff providing expert help and advice to members on all aspects of firearms ownership including technical, legal, practical and forensic. The team offers confidential advice based on settled law or sustainable legal opinion and can also assist with accessing services available through BASC’s legal expenses insurance.
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “I am always staggered by the variety of questions that our members ask us. I am equally as amazed by the wealth of knowledge demonstrated by the members of the firearms team – there are over 150+ man years of firearms related experience between us. This vast pool of knowledge is unique to BASC and members value it.
“As we head into the new year, we will continue to participate in police training, liaising with Police and Crime Commissioners and working with poorly performing constabularies to improve performance.”
Peter Glenser, BASC chairman and a barrister who specialises in firearms law, said: “It has been quite a year for our firearms team who have again showed the value they offer our members. However it is disappointing to see that delays to waiting times for certificates and renewals is still causing such a concern for our members.”
This news comes just a day after BASC announced a rise in membership, with numbers now up to more than 148,000.
The firearms team can be reached on 01244 573010, with members urged to leave a message if they struggle to get through. For more details of its services, click here.